Georgetown University is America’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit university and the first university chartered by the United States Congress. The university was founded in 1789 by John Carroll, who was the first Catholic bishop and archbishop in the United States. Georgetown is not an Ivy League school, but it is often considered on par with them.
Today, it has grown into one of the world’s leading academic and research institutions, with more than 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students across five locations. This guide will cover everything you need to know about how to get into Georgetown University.
Georgetown University is a 110-acre campus located in Washington D.C., only minutes from the White House and the downtown Washington area. Georgetown was ranked 23rd in the U.S. News 2022 Best National Universities list. Undergraduate students at Georgetown receive a liberal arts education with roots in the Jesuit traditions of social justice and care of the whole person, or “cura personalis.”
Georgetown has nine schools, a hospital, and a campus in Qatar. There are four schools within the university’s main campus for undergraduate students to apply: Georgetown College, the School of Nursing and Health Studies, Robert E. McDonough School of Business, and Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.
Each of the schools offers a distinct focus and unique opportunities. You may only apply to one undergraduate college at Georgetown, so pick the school or program that matches your interests the most. If you want to go in with an undeclared major, you should apply for Georgetown College.
Georgetown College covers the disciplines of the humanities, languages, sciences, math, social sciences, and computer science. The faculty at Georgetown College comes from governmental and non-governmental agencies, cultural organizations, and research institutes. Many students of Georgetown College tend to pursue graduate-level study of law, medicine, or dentistry.
The School of Nursing and Health Studies is home to degree programs in the health sciences. It aims to promote health equity and improve population health on all levels. The faculty comprises expert practitioners, researchers, scholars, and teachers.
The McDonough School of Business began as an undergraduate program in the School of Foreign Service and is now a leader in business education, business ethics, and social responsibility. The faculty at McDonough include research scholars, entrepreneurs, and professionals with corporate, non-profit, and government leadership experience.
The Walsh School of Foreign Service is a top-ranked school of international affairs that provides a rigorous education in theory and practice while emphasizing the value of service. Here you will be able to take classes from scholars and practitioners. You will also have access to competitive internships in the public and private sectors, notable speakers, as well as world-influencing events, conferences, and meetings.
You can earn your degree from any one of these four schools, while still having full access to classes offered in any undergraduate school. Georgetown encourages you to take an interdisciplinary approach to your education and get valuable experience studying with a diverse group of people. You can also take advantage of Georgetown’s location by holding internships in government embassies, ABC News, The World Bank, The Smithsonian, or any non-profit and corporate groups in Washington D.C.
To apply for Georgetown University, you must submit official score reports for the SAT and ACT. If you do not have access to an open testing center, you can still apply without test scores. You will, however, need to complete a form explaining why you were not able to take your tests.
Georgetown also recommends (but does not require) English language proficiency test results if you attend a school where classes are not taught in English. The school accepts the Duolingo English Test (DET), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
Georgetown does not allow score choice and requires you to send your complete testing record, including SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject Test scores. If you take either test more than once, the admissions committee will consider the highest EBRW and Math section scores for the SAT and the highest composite score for the ACT. You can also submit Advanced Placement (AP) test scores to supplement your application and see if you qualify for course exemptions.
Here are the average standardized test scores for Georgetown University’s undergraduate schools in 2020:
Remember that you are responsible for sending your standardized test scores on time. If you apply under Early Action, you can list any future test dates on your application. Those scores will be added to your application once the school receives the score report.
Depending on which school or program at Georgetown you apply for, your high school transcript may need to demonstrate studies in specific subject areas to increase your chances of admission.
If you choose a Math or Science concentration, you should have four years of study in mathematics and at least three years in science. You should have at least three years of high school mathematics and one year each of biology and chemistry for the Nursing program.
For the Business program, you need to complete at least three years of math because you will have to take calculus. A course in computer science and two years of study in natural sciences are recommended as well. If you are interested in a Language or Foreign Service program, Georgetown recommends that you have a modern foreign language or Latin background.
Admissions officials at Georgetown University consider your GPA to be an important academic factor, as well as your high school class rank, when available. The admissions committee gives significant attention to the quality of your coursework and your potential for study at the university.
Georgetown University has an acceptance rate of 16.8% and an early acceptance rate of 11.2%. Georgetown’s yield rate, or the percentage of accepted students who choose to enroll, is 44.7%. Such a selective acceptance rate keeps the undergraduate class at a moderate size, so classes are small and students can easily learn from one another.
Here are the 2020 admissions statistics for each of Georgetown’s undergraduate schools:
The student to faculty ratio at Georgetown University is 11:1, and 60.4% of classes have fewer than 20 students in each class. Small class sizes encourage open dialogue and inquiry.
According to U.S. News, the average freshman retention rate at Georgetown is 96%, and the four-year graduation rate is 90%. These figures are an indicator of student satisfaction and available resources for student success. Georgetown has a gender distribution of 56% female students and 44% male students.
Georgetown is also committed to promoting inclusivity and diversity on campus and in the community. Here is a chart representing the diversity in ethnic backgrounds for Georgetown’s first-year class in 2020:
In addition to submitting your standardized test scores, you will need to complete an Application Supplement. You need to submit your personal information, extracurricular activities, honors and awards, employment history, recommenders’ contact information, and three supplemental essays.
You can find the following essays on Georgetown’s Application Supplement Reference page. This section is only a quick overview, but you can read a more detailed article on how to write the Georgetown supplemental essays.
“Briefly discuss the significance to you of the school or summer activity in which you have been most involved. (Approximately one-half page, single-spaced)”
Before this short essay prompt, you are given a list of various extracurricular activities, from varsity sports and publications to performing groups and community groups. You then select your three most important activities, one of which will probably be your answer to this essay prompt.
The key part of answering this prompt is determining which activity or program best represents your interests and values. It’s not always the club where you have spent the most hours or the activity you think will appear the most impressive to the admissions committee. You should pick the activity you are most passionate about and show them why through this essay prompt.
The admissions committee wants to get to know you and your commitments. You can use the short essay to show them the skills you have developed and how you can apply that to Georgetown.
After the short essay, you need to compose two essays (each approximately one page, single-spaced) on the topics below. The first essay has a general prompt, while the second essay is specific to each undergraduate school.
“As Georgetown is a diverse community, the Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief essay, either personal or creative, which you feel best describes you.”
Like the short essay prompt, you will want to choose a topic that best represents who you are and your values. You should highlight what makes you unique and avoid cliché topics like your life achievements, overcoming a challenging class, or romantic relationships and breakups.
Georgetown emphasizes its diversity, so what kind of perspective can you contribute to the school? Diversity can relate to your ethnic and cultural background, but it can also be about your health and disability, your socioeconomic status, interests, among many other traits.
You can tell a personal story from your childhood that has shaped you as a person. Think about the parts of your identity that matter the most to you. You should start this prompt by having a brainstorming session and writing detailed points to discuss.
Each school-specific prompt is meant for you to explain why you want to study in a particular program and why you want to study it at Georgetown University. The two general essays give the admissions committee an idea of who you are beyond your academic achievements, but these prompts want to know your motivations in academics.
Before you respond to the prompt for your selected school, remember that Georgetown, as a Catholic and Jesuit university, values service to others. They want to admit students who want to improve their communities and the world.
“What does it mean to you to be educated? How might Georgetown College help you achieve this goal? (Applicants to the Sciences and Mathematics or the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics should address their chosen course of study.)”
For this prompt, you should highlight your academic and career goals. Define what being educated means to you, whether that is using your knowledge to act on your goals or gaining the skills to navigate the world beyond your personal bubble.
Connect your definition of education to your academic goals. Think about how you can meet those goals by studying at Georgetown College. If you are undeclared and still deciding what you want to major in, what can Georgetown allow you to do for your education?
“Describe the factors that have influenced your interest in studying health care. Please specifically address your intended major (Global Health, Health Care Management & Policy, Human Science, or Nursing).”
In this essay, you have the chance to explain why you are devoting your academic career to health studies. You should research your major and determine what makes it different from other programs.
If you want to major in nursing, for example, you can talk about what event prompted you to pursue a career in medicine. Maybe you didn’t want to be a nurse until you had to stay with your ailing grandparent in the hospital and realized just how integral they are to your community. Maybe empathy is one of your most significant values, and nursing would be a rewarding career for you. Hone in on the interests that you feel most passionate about.
“The McDonough School of Business is a national and global leader in providing graduates with essential ethical, analytical, financial, and global perspectives. Please discuss your motivations for studying business at Georgetown.”
Rather than simply explaining why you want to go to business school at Georgetown, you should write your essay with a global approach. Since Georgetown has its roots in Jesuit values, you should bring in keywords about ethics and explain how you want to expand your worldview at the university.
You could research how McDonough School of Business alumni have embodied the values of Georgetown and taken their education to a larger scale. Perhaps you want to prompt a positive change in your community by studying business, and Georgetown aligns with your values and career goals the best.
“The Walsh School of Foreign Service was founded more than a century ago to prepare generations of leaders to solve global problems. What is motivating you to dedicate your undergraduate studies to a future in service to the world?”
Again, this essay prompt emphasizes the value of service to others. You will want to demonstrate what you can do to address and solve problems on a global scale. To start, you should be well-versed in global affairs and international policy.
An excellent way to convey your passion for foreign service is by telling a unique story about your experiences. You may, for example, have a deep connection to another country because you had to seek refuge from the war there. Choose an issue or experience that motivated you to pursue a career that would make a positive difference in the world.
As you write your essays for your prospective school, be as specific as you can. You will be able to stand out if you tell a unique story with detailed examples.
When you apply to Georgetown University as a first-year student, you must have an alumni interview. Transfer students are not required to attend an interview, but they can schedule one if they prefer.
Interviews do not take place on Georgetown’s main campus, and you will not be expected to travel to other cities or countries for an interview. If there are no alumni interviewers available in your particular geographic region, your interview will be waived, and it will not negatively impact your chances of admission.
Your interview will be conducted by a member of the Georgetown University Alumni Admissions Program (AAP). The AAP committees are located in all fifty states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and many foreign countries.
Once you submit your application, you will receive your alumni interviewer’s contact information sometime between September and January in the application period. You are expected to schedule the interview as soon as possible, but you do not need to complete it before the application deadline.
The alumni interview personalizes the application process even more, and you will have the opportunity to tell your story in your own words. You should practice answering questions that highlight certain aspects of your background and achievements. You should also prepare stellar interview questions to ask about the university from the perspective of an alumnus.
Here are a few examples of questions that you should expect to answer:
Other examples of topics that may come up in your interview include extracurricular activities, summer experiences, family background, college and career plans, and exposure to the university.
Here are a few excellent questions that you can ask your interviewer:
You can apply to Georgetown University as an undergraduate student in three ways: a first-year applicant, a transfer applicant, or a visiting student. International students use the same application and follow the same procedures as all other applicants. New students are admitted in the fall, and they must be registered for full-time study only. Georgetown University uses its own application and does not accept the Common Application.
The personalized Georgetown Application allows you to express your skills and accomplishments in the best way. It keeps the applicant pool to a manageable size, which guarantees that an admissions officer will be able to read and evaluate your application holistically.
There are two options for your applications:
You should submit your Georgetown Application as soon as possible, regardless of which application you choose. The Georgetown Application takes a few minutes to complete, as you only need to submit your personal information, parent/guardian information, current education, and the application fee. Completing the application means you will be able to start the process of scheduling your alumni interview sooner rather than later.
You must indicate your intention to apply for Early Action in the appropriate space on the application form and submit all materials by November 1. The Early Action program is designed for you to learn of your admission earlier in your senior year, and it focuses on your performance and achievements through the end of your junior year.
You should complete standardized testing requirements in your junior year, but scores from September and October test dates in your senior year will usually arrive in time. You are responsible for sending score reports to Georgetown well in advance.
Early Action is not binding, and you have until May 1 to submit your enrollment agreement, which is the same date as Regular Decision candidates. However, if you apply under Early Action, you may not apply to any binding Early Decision programs because you would not be free to choose Georgetown if you are accepted. Early Decision applications require you to commit to attending if admitted, and you would have to withdraw applications to any other schools.
If you were not admitted in the first round, your Early Action application is deferred to the spring review. Georgetown has an acceptance rate of 16.8% and an early acceptance rate of 11.2%. The school’s yield rate is 44.7%, the percentage of admitted students who choose to enroll.
A complete application for Georgetown University must include the following components:
The Georgetown admissions office accepts fee waiver requests, and you can indicate that you will need a fee waiver on your Georgetown Application. As the school prefers electronic submissions, you or your guidance counselor should submit a completed fee waiver form and email it to email@example.com.
Here is a chart with all application dates and deadlines for Georgetown University:
If you want to pursue a program in art, music, theater, or dance, you can submit additional materials to your application, all of which are optional. Specific departments will review the supplemental materials for the arts, and you can find specific instructions on the Art and Art History website or the Performing Arts websites provided below.
If you are still wondering whether to add Georgetown to your college list and apply, here are several questions you should ask yourself as you continue to do your research:
Georgetown has over 6,000 undergraduate students from all over the world. With over 80% of students living on campus, it is a vibrant place for you to live and learn. There are more than 350 student organizations and clubs to join, including sports clubs, student publications, community service clubs, and activist groups in political and social causes.
When you venture off-campus, you will find a city that shapes the world. Georgetown has 130 D.C. partnerships with city agencies, schools, and community-based organizations available to you. You can find plenty of internship opportunities at government embassies, non-governmental agencies, corporate and non-profit groups, among many others in Washington D.C.
Georgetown also has over 200 study abroad programs in 57 countries. Area studies programs allow you to take content courses in English along with one host country language course. You can directly enroll in a foreign university for an even more immersive experience in countries where the language of instruction is French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, or Italian.
Other study abroad options include faculty-led summer programs, language programs, nursing programs, service-learning programs, Georgetown’s satellite campus in Doha, Qatar, and a living-learning community in Fiesole, Italy.
Georgetown’s average freshman retention rate is 96%, and the four-year graduation rate is 90%. Of the Georgetown class of 2020, 73.7% are currently working, and 15.3% are continuing their education. The data below is based on 74.6% of recent graduates who have reported their employment information with the school.
According to the U.S. News and World Report, the median starting salary of Georgetown University alumni is $59,500. Typical student debt after graduation is $16,421.
The tuition and fees at Georgetown University are $59,957, and room and board cost $18,748. You can take a minimum of 12 credit hours and a maximum of 20 credit hours per term for the full-time tuition price.
At Georgetown, 37% of undergraduate students receive some type of need-based financial aid. The average need-based scholarship or grant award is $37,485. There are also 100 prestigious scholarships and fellowships awarded to undergraduates and recent alumni each year.
Here are some of our best tips for getting in Georgetown:
It is essential for you to fully understand what the university looks for in its students and incorporate those keywords into your essays and interviews.
You will have an easier time answering essay prompts and interview questions if you have decided what program you want to attend. You can research Georgetown’s undergraduate degrees and be more specific about what you want to accomplish at the university, which will leave a good impression.
You will stand out among other applicants if you have clubs and activities related to your major that you feel passionate about. You will have to discuss the most significant activity, so you should have a few to select from.
When you submit your Georgetown Application, you will need to have your recommender’s contact information ready. You should have already asked your teacher for a recommendation so that they can send the evaluation on time, especially if you apply for Early Action. Make sure your recommender can attest to your excellent academic performance.
If you want to calculate a good SAT score, you want to look at the average SAT statistics for the incoming class. Across all four undergraduate schools, the middle 50% range for total SAT scores is 1400-1560. If you aim for 1560, which is the 75th percentile, and miss the score by a few points, you would still have a competitive application at Georgetown. Here is an article to help you better understand SAT percentiles.
The same applies to a good ACT score. The middle 50% range for ACT scores across Georgetown’s undergraduate schools is 32-35. You should aim for a composite or total score of 35 to stay competitive.
All supplemental essays should be typed. Your first short essay should be approximately one-half page, single-spaced, and the two other essays should be approximately one page, single-spaced each.
No, Georgetown only offers a non-binding Early Action program. The school wants to give all students the freedom to choose between schools until May 1.
Yes, you can apply for the Early Action program at Georgetown as well as other schools. Remember to research the guidelines for all schools you wish to attend because not all Early Action programs allow for multiple Early Action applications.
If you receive a deferred college application, you should maintain high senior year grades and submit new information, including standardized test scores, new honors, or awards. Early Action admission is offered to a limited number of students based only on information from their freshman, sophomore, and junior years.
All first-year applicants must schedule an interview unless there are no alumni interviewers available in your geographic area. Interviews are optional for transfer students.
Interviews are conducted in your local area, not on Georgetown’s campus. You will be assigned to a local interviewing committee based on the address you give on your application. You are responsible for contacting your interviewer and setting up a meeting with them. Interviews may occur at a local coffee shop, school, library, or the interviewer’s office.
Interview assignments are sent in the middle of September each year. If you submit your application in the summer, you should expect to hear about your interview by early October. If you send your application in the fall, you will typically know your interviewer within several weeks. Early Action application interviewers are prioritized through the end of October, so don’t worry if you have not received an interview assignment right away.
The interview is for you to share any information about you that you could not address in your application. The alumni interviewers want to have a general conversation about your thoughts and interests, so use this opportunity to highlight relevant information about your personality and passions. You should also ask questions about Georgetown from the perspective of an alumnus.
The Interview report becomes a part of your admissions file, but it will rarely be the deciding factor of your application. According to Georgetown, “much more often than not, it works in the applicant’s favor.”
Georgetown University is well known for its academic reputation and the unique advantages of being in Washington D.C. You will have many opportunities for internships, business, and access to the government, international communities, and other organizations at this school.
We have covered a lot of general information on the university, the application requirements, supplemental essays, and alumni interviews. This guide will help you navigate the college research and admissions process and show you how to get into Georgetown University. Remember to devote enough time to complete your application, and don’t be afraid to share your personal experiences and significant parts of your identity. These unique features are sure to help you get accepted at Georgetown.